New addition a beauty with flaws

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The new recreation centre will be beautiful. It’s just not quite there yet.

On Wednesday morning I went to the new gym for the first time. With the massive building, hordes of people and construction crews, it was an overwhelming experience to say the least. The sheer size and impressive amenities of the 160,000 square foot facility no doubt puts the old gym to shame, but despite the long-awaited arrival of the new Western Student Recreation Centre, my first trip to the new gym was more frustrating than productive.

First of all, the schedule for the opening week is bogus. The novelty of having a new gym combined with the fact it’s the first week back after New Year’s and people are still trying to see their resolutions to get in shape to fruition obviously compelled a lot of people to hit the gym.

So why only open the gym for seven and a half hours a day (three and a half hours on Friday) as opposed the usual 18 hours? Trying to accommodate the higher than normal numbers in such a limited amount of time was chaotic. There was a line up out the front door, lineups for the swanky new gym equipment and trying to find a free locker was nearly impossible.

Perhaps the limited schedule has something to do with the fact that the gym is obviously not finished. With the smell of fresh paint lingering throughout the building and construction crews busy at work on various projects, including the massive pool that is nowhere near done, it’s clear the new recreation centre isn’t up and running at its full potential.

Second, what’s with the dinky lockers? I miss the full-size lockers that were readily available at the old gym. I understand trying to accommodate a larger amount of people, but for those of us who carry around a lot of junk throughout the day and don’t feel like paying for a rental locker, the skimpy new set up in the change rooms isn’t appreciated.

Annoying schedules and lockers aside, the new recreation centre is fantastic. No longer must we work out in the basement of the UCC; we have a real gym, one with windows to the outside world.

Another perk of the new gym is the cardio space and the weight lifting space is no longer so far apart. It’s not as big of a hassle to go from one to the other.

You’re almost there Western Student Recreation Centre. You’re almost as beautiful as you should be. Once the construction is done, the pool is finished and there’s a schedule that works, I’m sure you will be the state-of-the-art facility we were promised.

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